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Will Honda Be The Surprise Star of EICMA: Exotic Superbike and New Africa Twin Rumored

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With all the hype surrounding models such as the Kawasaki H2 and Yamaha R1, could Honda surprise us all by being the big story at EICMA in Milan next week? Rumors have surfaced that two, long-anticipated new models from Honda could be unveiled in production form, including an exotic (and expensive) V-4 1000 cc superbike (perhaps, called the RC213V-S), and a new Africa Twin featuring a 1000 cc parallel twin engine designed to be both compact and light.

If true, it is expected the new superbike will have a stratospheric price and it will not displace the less exotic superbike in Honda’s lineup, the CBR1000RR.

The long-awaited return of the Africa Twin model may come in the form of two editions, including a road-biased version and a much more hardcore off-road version. An older Africa Twin is pictured above. Stay tuned.

165 Comments

  1. Ian says:

    Guess not.

  2. MGNorge says:

    Since it seems that most, if not all, observations of motorcycles here on Motorcycle Daily center on the negative, maybe we should collectively add together all those negative points and come up with a design?

    As observed already, right away things like high tech components and extra farkles are going to be at odds with light weight and low cost.

  3. red says:

    we’re like a focus group from hell

    • Norm G. says:

      omg, I’ve got a mixture of coca cola and French onion dip coming out of my nose. somebody call a doctor…! ROTFLMAO.

    • mickey says:

      Yep…how would you like to try and design a motorcycle with the members of MCD sitting around the table throwing in their input….lol..GOOD LUCK!

      • mickey says:

        It should be a single
        No a twin
        Right a V twin
        No a parallel twin
        Make it a 500 twin
        Twins are so passé’ it should be a triple
        Right a 750 triple
        No a 900 triple
        Its got to be a liter bike
        Right a liter bike that weighs less than 500 pounds
        400 would be better
        375 would be even better
        And have 10″ of suspension travel
        That would make the seat too tall
        Ok 10″ of suspension travel with a maximum 30″ seat height
        How would you do that?
        The engineers will figure it out
        And have all the latest electronics..tc, abs, turning abs, hill stop, modes for rain and wind and sunny days,
        But you have to be able to turn all that stuff off if you want to
        6 speed right?
        With 1st real low for climbing hills and 6 th real high for an overdrive
        Its got to hold at least 6 gallons of gas
        Ohh that would put a lot of weight up high how about 5 1/2 gallons with some of it under the seat
        But make the tank narrow so you can grip it with your knees
        And NO BEAK ( all agrree on this one)
        With spoke wheels
        No ..spoke wheels are too hard to clean make em mags
        But light weight mags with some flex
        How you going to do that?
        The engineers will figure it out
        Front wheel must be a 21 and rear a 17
        I think 19 front and 18 rear is better
        At least 125 horsepower
        You don’t need all that horsepower, 75 is plenty
        How about we settle on 100 hp and 75 pounds of torque
        And don’t forget factory hard bags for when I tour or pack my camping stuff
        Ok…now what can we sell this puppy for
        I’d pay $18k for such a bike
        There’s no way I’m paying that kind of money for a dirt bike, it’s got to be under $10k
        Engineer: Uh, we can’t make that bike and sell it for under $10k, we can probably do it for $14k
        This company no longer has any motorcycle spirit
        Yea this company used to make bikes for enthusiasts that they could afford
        You’ve lost your way
        Yea, I could buy a German bike for that
        Or an Italian bike
        Or an Austrian bike
        Yea, what happened to this company?

        • Norm G. says:

          LOL…!!! OMG, MAKE IT STOP…!!! now that’s a great piece of writing. ladies and gentleman, assembled members of the press…

          Mickey. (standing O)

        • tla says:

          hilarious!

        • mickey says:

          Engineer: ok we have thought about it and by using some steel in places of aluminum, and sourcing some of the assembly and parts to Thailand, Vietnam and China we can get the price down to $12K It will be a little heavier but will still be fine motorcycle for 99% of riders
          $12K should be competitive
          Yea, I could swing that
          Doesn’t matter what it costs to me, I’m going to wait a few years and pick a clean low miles one up used, let someone else take the depreciation hit
          How much heavier?
          Engineer: we figure 450 pounds
          Oh no that’s way too heavy
          What a porker
          Yea, what a pig
          China? Vietnam? Thailand? Are you crazy
          What do those people know about assembling motorcycles?
          I don’t want a bike made in a third world country
          Engineer: Well here are 4 designs we have come up with. What do you think of these?
          # 1 is just fugly
          #3 Looks it was drawn by 4th graders with crayons
          #4 looks too much like a Transformer, too many odd shapes and angles, I want smooth rounded lines
          #2 Looks good
          I don’t like the headlight
          Graphics look dumb
          What’s with the big turn signals and that weird hanging lic plate bracket
          Engineer: We do have to meet federal specs on those, no option
          Well there’s always the after market to take care of that
          Yea we will dump those things as soon as possible
          Exhaust can is awfully large, looks like a garbage can
          Aftermarket will take care of that too
          I don’t like how low the head pipe is, a rock could take it out
          And the exhaust can will make it difficult to mount a saddlebag on the right side
          I don’t like the seat, it looks uncomfortable
          yea the way it’s scooped I won’t be able to slide back and forth
          Engineer: seat shape necessary to get low seat height and long suspension
          Yea, well it looks stupid
          Engineer: wow, it impossible to please you people. Think we will just make what we want and if you don’t like it, then buy someone else’s motorcycle
          This company no longer has any motorcycle spirit
          Yea this company used to make bikes for enthusiasts that they could afford
          You’ve lost your way
          Yea, I will buy a German bike
          I’m buying an Italian bike
          Think I will buy an Austrian bike
          Yea, what happened to this company?

          • MGNorge says:

            You realize don’t you, what you’ve gone and done here? You’ve now taken the need away to respond any longer. Motorcycle Daily will become a ghost town! Everything’s already been said and it’s all on the table!

            Good job!

            I will just say for the record that I don’t care for every bike out there, never have. But I don’t make a great big deal out of it because some spec doesn’t meet my criteria or styling that’s not for me. So what? I don’t expect to like everything and I don’t fling nonsense at manufacturers because they don’t currently make something that I just have to have. I don’t compare specification sheets except for basic comparison data. I don’t care that one bike makes 2, or 20, or 50 more horsepower than another. Absolute numbers don’t tell the whole story and never will. I don’t buy bikes or cars because they’re trending and droves of people all of a sudden seem to want one. That human trait usually has me looking elsewhere. There are lots of good motorcycles, cars, cellphones and other consumer products out there. Why assume that we all follow the same path. Do your homework, test ride what interests you most and make your choice but do it for you, not someone else.

            There’s no harm in constructive criticism but realize what doesn’t push your buttons just might light a fire for someone else.

            If you believe that manufacturers stop in here from time to time to take a read don’t you think you’d be listened to more intently if your take was well sorted and thought out? Think about who different bikes are aimed at and realize too that it’s not always you. If you haven’t bought a new motorcycle in awhile and it may be awhile before you might then you may not be the one the manufacturers have their sites on.

            Motorcycling is a great sport, hobby, pastime and just plain fun way to get around. Embrace it for all it’s got and be a steward of responsibility and it will grow. Doing wheelies down the highway at 80 mph may be a heart pounder but does nothing for good PR and may get yourself and possibly others killed.

            It’s up to us guys.

          • Dave says:

            #1. Excellent
            #2. Lost me when this magic bike excluded a center stand, shaft drive, and mirror-mounted, self-cancelling turn signals..

        • Austin ZZR 1200 says:

          You forgot no tank seams. What I find amazing is how so few people actually read the article carefully enough to know that the picture is not the new bike but an older model. Stats are junk, only the ride will tell you if the bike has soul (DL 650 riders will nod).

          • Norm G. says:

            re: “What I find amazing is how so few people actually read the article carefully enough to know that the picture is not the new bike but an older model.”

            it’s up to like 3 or 4 instances right…?

            aaannnnnnddd we’re back full circle to my previous comments of raising one’s motoIQ, and the need to pay attention.

        • xlayn says:

          modes for … sunny days
          (robotic voice)… getting your beers cold

        • mickey says:

          Yea Dave, and Austin,…just trying to have some fun with it, but it’s really hard to remember everyone’s nit piks about a bike…there are just so many lol

    • Kagato says:

      you nailed it red! ; – )

  4. Neil says:

    Practical but UGLY! Unless they redesigned it. I also agree with those who say there may not be a market here for it. A few of us cannot buy it and have the rest sit on the sales floor. It’s business. We STILL as Americans waste money on Harleys. Posers! Sport bikes with no gear on. Posers! Most of us Americans are middle class with cars and kids and mortgages and bills. We can’t afford bling. We need practical. If it makes it here, I hope it does well. Stop buying Beemer GS’s and buy this. My brother said to me the other day, “Who 20,000 dollars for a secondary vehicle?” Drive cross country and you see folks, ordinary hard working folks who would not know bling if it fell out of the sky onto their front lawn. Sell tons of CBR250R’s Honda. We need more people riding period. Get the freakin A out of the darn car and ride! Park the poser mobile and ride! Ride a lawn mower, but ride!

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      So it is OK to ride a lawnmower, but I should park my $20,000 bike? I must be missing your point completely.

    • Kagato says:

      I do wish folks would commute on their scoots rather than using them as weekend toys

  5. xlayn says:

    and 104 comments later my comment.
    there it goes, another VFR12X that nobody will take to the dirt, answer to what nobody ask, like when people ask for features for phones…

    on this times when nobody know what they want because there is way to much to choose from and has to be cheap, reliable, high performance motorcycle companies should run things like kickstarters, put new model, if people pay the high initial cost, production starts, so people can pay in advance with their pockets… and if nothing new get’s done it’s because nobody really care.

    2003 R6, 2004 CBR600RR, RVT, 916, rebel, HD sporster, CR500…
    great stuff has been already made…
    just like cellphones will never get better than the original startac

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “put new model, if people pay the high initial cost, production starts, so people can pay in advance with their pockets… and if nothing new get’s done it’s because nobody really care.”

      see xlayn gets it.

      x-man the domestic phrase you’re looking for is known as “coming off the dime”.

  6. Gronde says:

    I hope that the new Adventure HONDA includes V-Tec from the VFR, front end from the RUNE, seat height of the DN-01 and styling cues from the FURY. That would be what I would expect from HONDA these days. Oh, and don’t forget to price it 30% more than the other Asian bike makers because it’s a HONDA!

  7. Will this finally be the year Honda makes the superbike they can make? It’s been a long time since the last “RC”. Looking forward to seeing it, but it still feels like it’s at least 5 years overdue. You know they could have made it sooner, and Johnny Rea might even have delivered an SBK title or two with more competitive machinery.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Will this finally be the year Honda makes the superbike they can make?”

      gripped with 2 hands, Norm vigorously shakes Magic 8 Ball then peers down into liquid filled window…

      FUTURE IS UNCERTAIN.

      re: “at least 5 years overdue”

      5 years…?!

      re: “Johnny Rea might even have delivered an SBK title or two”

      yet another rub if they produce… just in time for “Rea-J” to punch out for Kawasaki and play wingman to Tom (call sign Grinner).

      • 5 years – I was being generous, you know? 🙂 I suspect you agree with me that this is generous, but just in case, let me expand. How’d I come up with that number? I was being generous because I’ve been a long-time Honda fan.

        I was standing on the sidelines at Laguna in about 2006, several years after the most recent update to the RC51, listening to Nicky’s V5 tear past, making sounds like the gates of hell were opening. It seemed like a perfect time to update the Honda RC project. Honda could have crushed the spirit of every other superbike manufacture if they’d wanted to. But no! V4? Ok, sure, we’ve seen that before, but go ahead, that’ll be fine if you make it a good one.

        And so, 8 years later, we’ll just sit here and watch…

  8. John says:

    For me, this is once again going in the wrong direction into a crowded field. The Africa Twin should remain a middle weight and more focused on offroadability. Even 750cc is pretty large, I’d be more than happy with a 500-600cc bike. One based on the 116lb CB500 motor would have been great. With an aluminum frame, designed to replace the XR650L.

    I’m far more excited about the prospect of a 700cc Yamaha flat track inspired bike, given how much I loved my VT Ascot.

    And if the AT1000 is just a big, bloated, high-tech, overpriced bike like pretty much all the others, I’d strongly consider the Ducati Scrambler instead, because at least won’t be oversized and overweight.

    • todd says:

      Plus-one on keeping the Africa Twin smaller and to be considered more of a serious adventure bike like a powerful KLR, not a poser like all the overly-large, pseudo adventure bikes that are out now.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        The Africa Twin was a pretty heavy bike (about 490 lbs. gassed up if I remember right) with a weak, albeit adequate, engine. Much more comparable in size, power and off-road prowess to a modern Triumph Scrambler than a KLR650.

        I know the Africa Twin has a fabled reputation in the US as being this unobtainable, Japanese KTM killer, but an F800GS or 990 Adventure would run circles around it off-road and on the street. So would a G650GS for that matter. And I’ve heard many people refer to all three of those bikes as a “poser” bikes.

      • todd says:

        That’s why I suggested it be small and more off-road capable. If Honda put the 500 twin or an updated XR650R into a sturdy chassis with full luggage, it would displace the KLR as the only serious adventure bike available. Capable of both off road and days of highway instead of focused too much of one or the other like most bikes are today.

    • guu says:

      Original Africa Twin is larger, heavier bike than the 1190 Adventure. It only has lower displacement and engine power.

  9. Gronde says:

    This thing looks fat and heavy from the photograph. Shouldn’t put anyone off though, because its wearing street tires. Another HONDA Rune, only in Adventure guise.

  10. DUDE says:

    I bought me a 1993 Yamaha TDM 850 for 1500.00 with 7700 miles on it..In 1989 this bike wasn’t a good seller in the USA.KTM owns this catergory and this thing looks like its pieced together with parts from bikes from the 90s..Honda you cant fool everone..

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      “this thing looks like its pieced together with parts from bikes from the 90s.”

      Since production of the bike in the picture ended in 2003 if I remember correctly, I would say that is a pretty fair and unsurprising assessment.

  11. rapier says:

    Parallel twins don’t cut it. For lower cost and displacement street bikes they do but it’s pretty much guaranteed in this segment reviewers will be cool and consumers will stay away in droves. In theory I suppose a liter parallel twin would work well for off road but this segment isn’t mostly about that.

    • John says:

      They can be configured to work more like a V-twin, such as the new Yamaha 700cc twin which is supposedly splendid.

  12. -D says:

    RC-51 SP2 was the best motorcycle HONDA ever produced since the beginning.
    That bike is the current benchmark from team red. If they can top that model people will pay $$$$$
    Marquez is probably about to set an all time winning record this year in MotoGP.
    Win on Sunday sell on Monday. But…
    …I have a feeling with the new R1 about to be unveiled, and the Factory Yamaha riders right there nipping at the heels of Marquez all season long, we will probably see a changing of the guards in 2015 for the tuning fork. Both HONDA and YAMAHA are back on top of their game. And with the other brands announcing they are coming back to race in 2015 it will be an awesome year for motorcycle road racing. I cant wait to see what they have to show us from EICMA…

    • Dave says:

      Re: “RC-51 SP2 was the best motorcycle HONDA ever produced since the beginning.
      That bike is the current benchmark from team red.”

      Unfortunately it wasn’t a very profitable one. The hope would be that a product like this drives more people to the brand (the way the Ducati 1198 drives Monster sales). Somewhere along the way they must’ve decided that wasn’t happening. Amazing they’re still the #1 motorcycle maker on the planet.

      All-time great Hondas from a different perspective:
      XR-250
      Cub
      CB350
      Nighthawk

      These^ are the bikes that change cultures. A race/high performance bike has never done that.

      • xlayn says:

        with you, the Rune represented a lost of 65k$ for every bike sold to Honda.
        those small bikes are the ones that we enjoy when we “were young and beautiful (people laughing in the background)”

    • Mike says:

      “RC-51 SP2 was the best motorcycle HONDA ever produced since the beginning.”

      Exactly……Honda had 25 years or so to come up with a twin better than Ducati…..and the best HONDA could do was the RC-51!!!!!!

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Both HONDA and YAMAHA are back on top of their game.”

      don’t forget BMW, and yet they’ve all been PRE-owned by…

      (wait for it)

      (wait for it)

      Kawasaki’s Ninja H2.

  13. Jmess says:

    What the….I got excited for a minute thinking this is the NEW Africa Twin. Now I have to wait to see another overkill, complex looking adventure…I’m getting older I guess and everything seems overdone.

    • MG3 says:

      Agreed!! Over done and over priced. We need simple and affordable.

      • Snake says:

        I keep saying that very same thing…they no longer listen to the likes of us, they are too busy chasing each other chasing “market demographics”. Read: they’ve decided that we can be pigeonholed into a precise “marketing segment” and that’s all they do – create a bike that they feel hits a “marketing segment”.

        So many bikes, so few that are actually interesting.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “We need simple and affordable.”

        well you’ve got it, but the race to the bottom’s over (it’s over johnny!). by definition it was always going to be short-lived, now time has arrived to begin restoring order to the universe.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        There are plenty of simple and affordable bikes on the market. More than I can remember in quite a while.

        If by simple, you mean archaic, then your choices are limited of course.

        • Jeremy says:

          There are some really interesting bikes coming out for sure; the lower cost ones I wonder if a lot of the manufacturing comes from the lowest cost denominator countries. That would be a true “race to the bottom”. For me, I wouldn’t want archaic either, but also there is the opposite end where something is so over-engineered and complex, that it takes away from the experience…for example, I found the late eighties and early two thousand sportbikes more interesting when there was not all this electronic compensation and gadgetry.

          • Snake says:

            I have no problem with the complexity, bring it on. I DO have a problem with the stupid size and weight they keep pushing on us – for a distance traveling bike, your choice of 33-inch+ seat or over 600 pound weight. Give them enough time and I’m sure they’ll be happy to give you both.

  14. Mark says:

    That’s no twin the picture: It’s a V for sure

  15. dave says:

    Honda seems to be reactionary to the motorcycle market in North America. They always seem to come out with new models that their competitors have market saturated for years. Honda should look at the market better and listen to my advise. Forget a parallel twin 1000cc adventure sport. V-Strom and Super 10 (1200cc) are already here.
    Why don’t they just import the 750 cc African twin in the photo? It would sell easily as there is no such adventure sport in this displacement segment.
    I would buy a 750. If I wanted a litre class, i would buy the incumbents as they are time proven.

    Cheers

  16. Agent55 says:

    God knows Honda needs something to show they still have a clue beyond MotoGP. Their auto division is a shell of its former self, and the entirety of the entry-mid level street bikes they’ve release lately bring nothing to the table besides, hardware that’s been sold in some form for 20 years.

    • Mike says:

      Agree……accurate and precise…….thank you for your post.

    • Ralph says:

      The spirit of Honda died with Soichiro! Now they’re just another anonymous vanilla corporation making boring white refrigerators for John and Sue Middleamerica.

      The European bike (and car) manufacturers have been kicking Honda (and Japanese) butt for a decade or more.

      • mickey says:

        “The European bike (and car) manufacturers have been kicking Honda (and Japanese) butt for a decade or more.”

        Yep, every where but on the bottom line.

        This is nothing new fellas. Since 1964 you could always buy something more exotic in Europe, with big name suspension, and big name brakes, and big name ignitions and pay more for it, and have more problems, and pay more to have it worked on. Since the day Honda came into the country this has ALWAYS been true. Nothing has changed. It’s how things sorted out, Honda(Japan) builds for the masses, Europeans build for the enthusiast. Always been that way, will probably always be that way. Someone builds the bikes enthusiasts want. it’s just not Honda (Japan). So open the wallet, find a KTM or Ducati,or MV dealer, and buy the bike of your dreams.

        • DaveDos says:

          Probably a very self-selecting group, but US motorcycle fans on the intertubes sure seem like a whiny, fashion-obsessed bunch. I guess a car culture contributes to that, where motorcycling is primarily recreational, and few things are more trivial and also serious than an American hobby. Only in this fanboy world of shiny toys would reliable and accessible products be called boring and vanilla.

        • Mike says:

          “Honda builds for the masses” is your often used lame excuse for every dud Honda has made over the last 3 decades.

          OK I agree…… and this is the only positive thing I have to say about Honda Motorcycles today.

          Maybe you are on to something ….an all new “Motorcycle Daily for the Masses”….then you could post your repetitive excuse to the Honda Masses there every day for those that appreciate this viewpoint.

          • mickey says:

            Wow you make a convincing argument

          • xlayn says:

            “OK I agree…… and this is the only positive thing I have to say about Honda Motorcycles today.”

            indeed, but remember, CAD, Engineering, Prototyping, test benching… make things reliable, performance testing, air tunnel testing, material engineering, IT guys for new incredible ECU software, stress testing chassis, parts, etc, don’t fall out from trees, and the guys and machinery to do it it’s not cheap… so they still need to do a profit on those small reliable bikes or go the MV way

        • MG3 says:

          I don’t know Mickey. I have been riding since ’67 and I am definitely an ‘enthusiast’, but I owned nothing but Japanese bikes. They seem to offer me more than enough motorcycle for a lot less money. It’s all in the way you look at your bike I guess. I’ve got an old naked Goldwing from the 80’s that just won’t die, and a Suzuki Katana for more spirited rides. I think about selling them all the time but then stop and say ‘why’. They do everything I want a motorcycle to do. Anyway, just my 2 cents.

          • Ralph says:

            Depends on what you want. When I bought my MTS1200S touring in 2010 I looked at the Japanese. Did they have any offerings that could compete based on weight, handling, power, and features? Even at the same price? Nope! Five years later, do any of the Japanese have a contender? Nope!

            Lets look at market segments:

            -ADV: BMW and Ducati have a lock on this market, with KTM an up and coming contender for those who like a more dirt oriented ADV. Do the Japanese have a real contender? Nope.

            -Sport bikes:

            Open class: The S1000RR wasn’t just an evolutionary advance, it totally killed the class when released. Much higher power combined with rider aids offering much greater safety. Five years later, do the Japanese have a contender for this bike? Not really.

            -Middle weight: The Triumph Daytona consistently wins magazine shootouts and is the obvious pick for a street rider. Japanese do own this market due to young kids signing up for long loans on 600’s, though.

            -Tourer: This one is a toss up, GW vs the K1600. Honda is competitive in this market.

            -Sport tourer: Kawasaki has a legitimate contender in the nuclear powered Connie, although it is a bit heavy. Still, I’d say BMW sells more. Honda? The ST1300? Really Honda, that old tank is the best you can do in this hot market?

            -Standards:

            Open class: Ducati has the Hypermotard, Monster, Streetfighter, BMW the new S1000R and several boxer versions, Aprilia has the Tuano. All light powerful bikes that are feature laden. Japanese competition? Yawn.

            Middle weight: Truimph Street Triple, nuf said.

            -Dual sports: yeah, the Japanese are all over that.

            Nutshell: I’d be happy to buy a Honda right now, show me the model that competes or beats my five year old Multistrada and I’ll but it now.

            *crickets*

          • mickey says:

            Exactly what I was saying MG3. And don’t get me wrong we are all enthusiasts or we wouldn’t be reading and posting here, but my use of enthusiast was meant to infer those who want the most horsepower, the lightest frames, the most complicated suspensions, under 400 pounds, all the electronic aids, all the bells and whistles that really don’t mean a lot to the ” average” motorcyclist, and the kind of features that if added all into the same motorcycle would make it not affordable to the ” average,” motorcyclist.

            That you are riding two bikes that are decades old, without all the latest stuff, but is still doing the job well enough that you are not considering moving up, says a lot about how much we really need, and how much is just pipe dreams of the ” super enthusiast” ( hows that)

          • Mike says:

            Ralph/MG3……thanks for your posts. I agree totally.

            Bottom Line: Honda motorcycles for the first 25 years is sadly not the Honda of today.

        • Snake says:

          Actually, the Europeans have been kicking Japanese butt on the bottom line, too – for a good portion of most of the past few years, only the European makes had any sales growth worth talking about (remember Suzuki ‘bailing out’ on new models for a year?…). BMW and Ducati have had, what, double-digit sales growths and really good profits, so much so that VW (Audi) bought Ducati for $1.12B. The world’s biggest automaker doesn’t spend $1.12Bil to buy dead weight.

          • Stuki Moi says:

            All the Jap makes have first hand experience with the limits to, and inevitable end result of, printing money to build bridges to nowhere. Which is what has propelled the Euro makes over the past 5 or so years. It has made average Joe MC buyer poorer, and the already rich bankster looking for yet another $65K exotic to upstage his colleague across Wall Street richer.

            But it’s a dead end, as the Japanese kind of realized after 15 years of doing the same post their own bubble bursting. All it leads to is stagnant growth, and a decaying market. Which will hurt those with high cost structures mortally when things just go down, down, down, down, until even the banksters have noone left to fleece……

            The future of motorcycling lies in serving young, dynamic and growing cultures. Not creating jewelry for some ancient Midas whose gotten fat off of being handed an ever larger share of an ever shrinking pie. Simply because even 100% of nothing, is still not enough to sustain an MC maker.

          • Norm G. says:

            re: “The future of motorcycling lies in serving young, dynamic and growing cultures. Not creating jewelry for some ancient Midas”

            close, the future of motorcycling lies in serving the YOUNG MIDAS…

            Zuckerberg, Moskowitz, Saverin, Mcollum, Hughes, etc are “papered up”.

          • mickey says:

            You are talking about a percentage of growth. If a company sold 1000 units one year and 1500 units the next year that is a 50% sales growth, but that company still wont’t have the bottom line of a company that sold 500,000 one year and 600,000 the next year which is only a 20% growth in sales.

            Bottom line is how many units did the company sell and more importantly how much money did they make?

        • Mike says:

          mickey says: October 30, 2014 at 8:34 pm

          No getting anything past you Mike, that’s for sure.

          >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

          Agree

          So please consider moving from your daily pro Honda posts to justify all the dud bikes they introduce ….to every other day, as a start?

          You know…a few examples:

          “Honda is so smart”

          “Honda makes bikes for the masses”

          “Honda is the only company that makes lots of bikes for lots of people”

          and my favorite …. “There is a whole list of Honda motorcycles that were innovative and exciting and languished on the sales floor. Honda is very smart……”

          • mickey says:

            Well it would be nice if you are going to quote me that you actually got the quotes correct

            I said Honda was smart, I never said “Honda is so smart”

            I never said “Honda is the only company that makes lots of bikes for lots of people”

            And I never added “Honda is very smart” onto the tail end of “languished on the sales floor”

            At least if you are going to quote me, do it accurately please.

            Don’t know why you HATE Honda so much, and really curious as to what you do ride, but I can tell you why I like Honda so much.

            Since 1967 I have owned 19 Honda vehicles. 9 automobiles and 10 motorcycles. Every one has been reliable, comfortable, has had great fit and finish, and none has ever required going to the shop for anything other than normal servicing. I have put over 300,000 miles on one Accord, over 200,000 on another Accord, over 200,000 on 2 Civics and one CRV and have 50,000 miles on my ST 1300. No Honda vehicle has ever failed to bring me home. All were affordable to buy new, and all brought unbelievable resale value considering the miles I put on them. Why WOULDN’T I love Honda and their products?

          • Mike says:

            Mickey…..I apologize for not spending the time to quote you word for word, but this does not set aside what you stated and the fact once again that nomatter what, you are going to support and defend Honda Motorcycles today using any means, most of which defy logic.

            As far as me hating Honda…..not true, but what I do hate is this is a company today that has betrayed Mr. Honda and no longer strives to make the best motorcycles intended to win all comparison tests for all motorcycle market segments.

            I have owned Hondas, but buy bikes based on what I want at the time without regard to the manufacturer and this allows me to have an objective view of Honda today…unlike you.

            I am confident of what Mr. Honda would say about the motorcycle division now and your repetitive nonsense comments defending Honda motorcycles made for the masses today. Nuff said.

      • Dave says:

        Re: “The European bike (and car) manufacturers have been kicking Honda (and Japanese) butt for a decade or more.”

        Look at the score board…

      • HLRembe says:

        My thoughts exactly the company lost all its enthusiasm for the sport and simply became another corporation run by accountants and lawyers.

  17. Lenz says:

    There’s a trite little saying in the boating industry regarding “jumping ship” – “Always make sure you step UP off the boat you’re leaving”. If the boat / circumstances / motorcycle is not where you want to be or what you want then be sure the alternative is a better / safer / higher in the water choice.

    My current ride is a Yamaha TT350 that has been ported / gas flowed, compression raised a touch to ~ 9.6:1 and large oil coolers added. Running 15:50 final gearing for the road sees 140kph and manageable first gear speeds, 14:50 is very responsive, 14:52 does dirt easily. It weighs in at 132kg with 10.5lt of fuel. LED lighting and electrical system upgrade also.

    This bike is equally at home on road, trail or slop just change the gearing for the extremes. The combination of low weight, useful power, light responsive handling, comfortable rider positioning and seat makes me consider if I would really be “stepping up” to anything pitched as a REAL ADV bike on the market at the moment. I can do an 800km day on the road or scratch around the bush / desert tracks confident in my ability to get the bike back up if it ends up lying down on the job.

    If someone can show me the bike that meets the specs I posted in a earlier thread “Pre EICMA leaks continue” I’ll be all over it but until then ……

    • xlayn says:

      if you don’t raise compression it’s more easy to turbo the thingy…. knock it’s not good

      • Lenz says:

        Thank you so much for that redundant input – I’m wondering if you have any idea what it is you’re talking about or the motorcycle I have cited.

        • xlayn says:

          Yes I do sir, short story you said, shut up I don’t like you, large story:
          “TT350 that has been ported / gas flowed, compression raised a touch to ~ 9.6:1 and large oil coolers added. Running 15:50 final gearing for the road sees 140kph and manageable first gear speeds, 14:50 is very responsive, 14:52 does dirt easily. It weighs in at 132kg with 10.5lt of fuel”
          basically you say, I like this machine, so as a connoisseur I decided to take the hard path to more performance to improve the power to weight ratio.
          turbo reference it’s on line with getting more power, which by the way would go great with this kit http://www.ecotrons.com/products/small_engine_rhb31_vz21_turbocharger/ (and a PGMI kit), turbo as a way of increasing compression would make more complicated fuel injection/carburetion, spark timming without the adequate electronic management.
          I think about this place like the bar where you go with friends to talk about life, what you do, what you enjoy, but I may be wrong, nobody here is friend, care or came to talk about that.
          good grief.

          • Tom K. says:

            Don’t be like that, Xlyan, I like you. Even if I don’t understand what the heck you’re saying most of the time. But I’ll work on that if you will.

            From now on, when you come into the room, we’ll all yell NORM! Wait a minute, that’d get too confusing. Maybe we should all just count to ten before we start smacking down each other’s opinions. THEN we’ll smack them down. But at least we’d have ten extra seconds to edit the typo’s.

          • Lenz says:

            Why on earth would the installation of a turbo on this particular bike be a positive step ?

            At some point the power / construction / braking balance is overwhelmed by the addition of major power and major increases in speed and operational stresses. The analogy is fitting an F1 engine into a gokart and then chasing the engineering failures up the ripple effect.

            Fitting forced induction as a very significant aftermarket power boost needs to be considered carefully particularly with regard to the ability of the vehicle to manage significant additional power, stress and speed. The most cost effective power upgrade in most cases is to optimise the existing platform with minimal expensive add-ons. That’s what has been done in this application. Your suggestions would cost more than the bike is worth. I deal in REALITY not BS

          • xlayn says:

            thanks Mr. K!, let me know if garbish is all write to re-write everything once I sober up, and I’ promize to doubl3 chek for tipus

            Lenz,
            1st, chill up, nobody came here to fight
            2nd, if “compression raised” at $100 hour rate fits “minimal expensive” or “add-ons” there is no argument I can make.

  18. Firebladepilot says:

    Looks almost identical to the 1988/89 Honda NX650. Even the great Honda is running out of Ideas ? Or just catering to the new markets in China/India ?

  19. HS1-RD-CX100-VFR says:

    The competition for the title of who can make the worlds most awful and useless dirt bike is heating up. So many are trying so hard that total meltdown is eminent.

  20. Norm G. says:

    YAWN.

    we’re only talking about the manufacturer that cry’s wolf. if they produce…? great. if they don’t produce…? whatev’. in the grand scheme, it doesn’t really matter since it all be anti-climactic anyway for two reasons…

    #1, this was kit people were calling for over a DECADE ago.

    #2, as mickey wisely points out, even if they DID produce…? the closest you may ever get to one is a high resolution press picture downloaded from the net.

    invariably, the brand managers are going to do some “weirdo stuff” (technical term btw) to counteract whatever brilliance comes out of the engineering department. just watch, if you look for it you’ll see it.

  21. Sentinel says:

    I’m really looking forward to this Africa Twin!

  22. Tom says:

    Dear Honda,

    Please update the XR 650. I mean after all even Kawasaki refreshes the KLR 650 every 20 years or so.

  23. Philip says:

    Anyone know what the ballpark price is on this V4? Above 50k or 75K? Or much more or less than that?

    • Tom K. says:

      Whatever it is, if the “performance per dollar” ratio is significantly less than the H2’s (which seems likely, but who knows), it’s likely that Lucy-san at Honda Product Development will have some ‘splainin to do.

    • Norm G. says:

      I call $50 grand (fitty). I fear $75k would be too off-putting to “the people of Wal-Mart”. though not unreasonable, that’s NR quid. particularly when you realize it’s the DEALERS who shoulder the burden of front end sales and back end support (these things don’t support themselves). in this day, Honda should be able to inject ALOT of technology at what would still be (and let’s be honest) 5X what the SP1 let out for.

      with homologation dropped now to 1000, and the OC all but gone come 2015, the ne-er-do-well spring valve RC213V is defunct. this really leaves Tokyo with 2 choices:

      A, they can produce (like they said) and save face…? or

      B, they can set up more displays at the Collection Hall…?

      “Your move CREEP!” (Robocop draws his sidearm on Asimo)

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        $50K. And it will probably still get its arse handed to it by a stock S1000RR.

        • Curly says:

          Or the new R1.

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “it will probably still get its arse handed to it by a stock S1000RR.”

          yup, but then again what doesn’t…?

          (yikes, cell phone’s blowing up with angry texts from K-Heavy execs)

          any-who, this would still be good for Honda. while I’m not personally wow’d by the forthcoming NSX…? i don’t have to be, they’re at least doing SOMETHING (for the love o’ God). somebody’s going to like it, companies need halos, and there’s much USP in the letters H-R-C.

          by 2016, they’ll be powering Mclaren once again in F1, car side will be making noise, and bike side could be “firing on all cylinders”…

          I know, that pun was too easy.

  24. skybullet says:

    TF says: “and Yamaha for lightness.”

    Ok, Ok, I should have said FZ-09… Skybullet

  25. DCE says:

    Would it not be more fitting to re-use the V-twin Shadow engine (even bumped-up to 1L) versus the NC750 (bumped-up to 1L)?

  26. Matt says:

    “compact and light” .. I hope so! This would go against recent Honda introductions though..

    I have always been a Honda fan since my XR600R, but I haven’t felt the love lately. Which is why I have 2 Yamaha’s and a Kawasaki in my garage.

    To be honest, I would be much more interested in an updated street legal e-start XR650R, or even a mini-Africa twin based on the 500X motor that actually could be light and compact than a 500lb 1000cc dual purpose.

    • red says:

      Totally agree on the 500 motor. A road capable dual sport built around that @ 400# would be the ticket. Don’t need another mega adv showboat.

      • smead says:

        I was surprised and impressed with the stock 500X’s dirt composure on a recent long test ride… not much fun in mud and roots, but for a fire road/gravel/dry singletrack bike, it was a lot of fun. Throw a longer travel suspension and 21″ on it and it would be a great little ’round-the-world mount.

    • Mark L says:

      I agree with you guys!! A smaller cc would be better. I did see pic’s of a 500x with 21 fr 18 back which looked like a daker bike. It was hrc Thailand building and racing them. It looked awesome. Hopefully Honda will get there head out of their asses and build it.

  27. Kagato says:

    I have never owned a Honda motorcycle or car. I feel obliged, however, to defend their marketing folks–if you will take a really good look at the current lineup, you can see they have been “listening”, if you like, to all the forum talk. Would you turn down a CB1100? I sure wouldn’t. Would you turn down a CB1000? Not me. Rotten boring Honda has once again provided the motorcycling world with the most amazing lineup of scoots that was ever dissed to death on a forum.

    • MGNorge says:

      Honda is big and by that virtue alone, takes pot shots. Same thing goes on in other industries too, nothing new. I have owned many Hondas, cars, bikes, lawnmowers and generators. One area they have always excelled in is longevity with minimal maintenance. Give them good attention to any maintenance needs and most people will have little to complain about. Can’t say that about all other brands. It’s true that Soichiro was a man of vision. It’s inevitable that with new leaders come new priorities.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “if you will take a really good look at the current lineup, you can see they have been “listening”

      I HAVE been looking, got me eyes checked and prescription updated back at the beginning of the year everything. still, no full size adventure.

      • Hot Dog says:

        How about panniers on a Grom? Ok ok, you’re right.

      • xlayn says:

        just put a beak on the VFR1200 and you got it….
        more adventure? hard luggage….
        even more adventurous???? even more? center stand
        give me more, YOLO?…. you ask for it, 100 lbs more in a non centralized position
        even more, like in parachute jump without checking anything and have things prepared by a a drunk guy?… Harley with all the previous accesories and chinesse tire without thread

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      “Would you turn down a CB1100?”

      I certainly wouldn’t turn one down, but I wouldn’t buy one either which is what I think Honda’s management would prefer.

      “Would you turn down a CB1000?”

      Nope again, but I wouldn’t choose it over the majority of its competitors, either.

  28. Bill says:

    So…Honda is now going the way of BMW…answering questions no one asks…they must have tapped Kawasaki’s phone

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      BMW sure sells a lot of Adventure bikes to be answering a question no one asked. Honda is just really late in taking the call.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “Honda is just really late in taking the call.”

        (alert tone)

        all circuits are busy… please try your call again later… message 22. (pleasant female voice)

        (message repeats)

        all circuits are busy… please try your call again later… message 22. (pleasant female voice)

  29. dave says:

    Exotic and Honda are not two words I expect to see together, at least lately.

  30. skybullet says:

    I too can remember when Honda was way ahead of the pack in innovation. Lets hope they get serious with the Africa Twin and produce a bike that will appeal to experienced riders. They could use KTM twins as a benchmark and Yamaha for lightness.

    • TF says:

      “and Yamaha for lightness.”

      Have you ever tried to put a Super Tenere on its center stand? Hardly the benchmark….

  31. HS1-RD-CX100-VFR says:

    Any sign that Honda still has a faint pulse left for producing interesting bikes for consumers is good news. BUT, I can’t imagine Soichiro ever agreeing to something so inelegant and at odds with physics as a liter sized, parallel twin. Within enough spinning or rising and falling contrivances, it can be sort of calmed. It still seems like something from a company that has lost the innovation and attention to detail that made it great.

    • iliketoeat says:

      The Yamaha Super Tenere has a 1200cc parallel twin that seems to be working just fine. So I don’t think a 1000cc parallel twin is “at odds with physics”.

    • Blackcayman says:

      Honda has the engineering chops to make the motor.

    • jim says:

      I would hope to see Honda go their own way again. Big Parallel twin? No.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        “Big Parallel twin? No.”

        Why? I think that is a great configuration for an adventure bike. Compact, narrow, relatively easy to service vs. a “V”.

      • xlayn says:

        someone should make the parallel twin transversal… like a vr2, one head, slimmer engine and bike, one timming chain.. bla…. in fact I’ll be back, I have to go to the patent office… “xlaynFiguration of engine”

    • Mike says:

      There are 500cc singles doing just fine. A 1000cc parallel twin is just two of those, and the combination should be better in several ways than the single alone. There are also several 800cc twins that are fantastic. I’m not at all afraid of a 1000cc twin, and am awaiting seeing more information on it. 🙂

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I’ll bite… What makes a parallel twin “inelegant and at odds with physics?”

      • HS1-RD-CX100-VFR says:

        They have some of the most extreme balance issues of all engine configurations. There are different schemes such as 180 degree cranks verse the more common 360. The 360 degree basically puts the stress of two thumpers on one crankshaft and the accompanying bearings. Some run two fairly heavy balancing shafts to cancel balance issues, the BMW 800 has a rising and falling balancing operated by a con-rod.

        Soichiro pretty much limited his to 450cc’s and also used the 180 degree crank to minimize issues. The larger British bikes were gernading themselves with abandon if operated at high RPMs. This was certainly a factor in the CB750 four being so successful. Today, the power of computers make it easier to tune balance shafts and connected “hammers” to smooth things out. The cost is parasitic power loss and weight. The cheapness of casting these blocks and lower part counts makes it attractive, though. The 180’s supposedly pick up a lot of side to side wobble as a cost in reducing the primary balance issues. As with any engine layout that has balance issues, keeping them small helps. An old British Motorcycle mechanic I knew once told me that parallel twins pick up the amount of violent imbalance at about 500cc’s that inline fours get at 2.2 liters.

        This is all an oversimplification as there are also secondary and tertiary planes of balance. I’m an enthusiast and my understanding and ability to describe this is admittedly less than an engineer’s.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          A 270° crank helps quite a bit with one of those issues since you don’t have both pistons coming to a halt at the same time as you would with a 360° or 180° crank.

          I’ve ridden four modern parallel twins: Kawasaki’s 650, Yamaha Super Tenere, BMW F800ST and a Triumph Scrambler. The BMW and Kawasaki were a little buzzy at higher rpms, but the other two were very smooth. Yes, they all need counterbalancers which require some of the engine’s power, but I find nothing inelegant about that. I’ve ridden V-twins and I-4s that vibrate much more than any of those bikes.

          Since Honda has already put out two different parallel twins in recent years, I would not be the least bit surprised to see them come out with a new one.

  32. Freddie S says:

    Light: meaning light compared to a 1200cc V4 DSC…
    Hey Honduh, tell us why you won’t cert this for USA?

    And don’t give us the usual malarchy about low volume.

    • mickey says:

      You want the truth? YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!

      • Mike says:

        Handling the truth starts with not defending Honda constantly nomatter what the topic or critical post contains……..

        The truth is what Soichiro Honda would think of Honda Motorcycles today and also how each motorcycle offering fares in comparison tests for every market segment.

        Thank you Freddie S for your comment

        • mickey says:

          Truth is Honda is a company that is in business to make money selling the most product to the most people, and they do that very well. They are not in business to make expensive bikes that only sell to a limited few in a small niche market. The majority of people who will buy a motorcycle do not need the most technical, the fastest, the lightest, the most leading edge. They want a motorcycle that looks good, is reliable and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to buy or maintain. Building for the picky enthusiast is not what Honda does. Honda is very smart, they have the engineers to build exactly what a few picky enthusiasts want (although if you have been on forums very much you know there are rarely 2 people who can agree on what they actually want), Honda is just smart enough not to. They leave that to the Europeans who are not in a position to supply to the masses. Think like a businessman and not an enthusiast and you will realize that.

          No one knows what Soichiro Honda would think today. You only imagine you do, because you think his thinking would align with yours. Soichiro built and sold affordable dependable motorcycles for the masses, just like Honda does today. Most of the motorcycles that had been touched by Hondas technical wizards were sales failures. If they try something outside the box people say ” an answer to a question no one asked” or “what were they thinking?”. There is a whole list of Honda motorcycles that were innovative and exciting and languished on the sales floor. Honda is very smart, and number 1 in sales because of it. They know you can’t please everyone, but they also know with the right product you can please most everyone.

          Honda, like MacDonalds, doesn’t do expensive gourmet burgers.

          • VLJ says:

            On the other hand, Honda does build some of the highest quality moto-burgers in the world, which is something no sane person would ever say regarding McDonald’s.

          • mickey says:

            Lol VLJ I have had McD Big Macs from Maine to Florida, from Washington State to Arizona to California and it was as reliable a burger as you can get. The quality and taste is EXACTLY the same no matter where you are in the country, and and the cost is always reasonable. Now whether you consider it quality is a matter of personal taste, but I have no problem eating them and actually prefer them to some of the questionable meals I’ve had to endure at some expensive gourmet places I have been dragged to by friends and traveling companions.

          • Dave says:

            well versed! Totally true about Honda.

          • VLJ says:

            mickey, yes, BigMacs are consistent in their quality, but so is Alpo. Hondas are consistent in their HIGH quality.

            🙂

          • Mike says:

            Not again……the same ole pro Honda motorcycles crap over and over. Some news for you

            1. VIP: Honda is not the only company that makes money selling bikes to lots of people. I think the CEOs of Suzuki, Yamaha and Kawasaki would like go over the basics with you.

            2. “Honda is the very smart, the smartest”….give it a break just once. Clue for you…….Honda is not a person and as such can not be smart. FYI….every motorcycle company still in business today is managed by smart people……..those at Honda are indeed different today and just happen to be interested much far more in planes, trains, boats, mowers, generators and robuttts.

            3. you stated If they try something outside the box people say ” an answer to a question no one asked” or “what were they thinking?”. You know it all so please tell us all what Honda was thinking with all the costs these dud sale bikes created that cut profits …..yuppp Honda smart again!

            “There is a whole list of Honda motorcycles that were innovative and exciting and languished on the sales floor. Honda is very smart….” Yuppp Honda smart again…..make bikes that do not sell….. btw are you getting paid for all these posts here defending Honda day after day ….if not you should be!!!

          • MGNorge says:

            When Honda does build something a little more enthusiast driven which drives the cost up you start getting remarks such as, “It’s a Honda!” “If I’m going to spend that I may as well buy a Ducati, etc.”
            Why do you think most of the Japanese car brands relabeled their premium models just for North America? Cuz we’re brand snobs who can’t see past the label and what others might think of us. “Look at Bill over there, do you know that he spent 60 large on a Honda, …or Toyota, and/or Nissan?” I have to hand it to other markets around the world where a Honda is a Honda, no excuses necessary. Don’t even get me started on cellphones.

          • mickey says:

            No getting anything past you Mike, that’s for sure.

          • Norm G. says:

            re: “Honda, like MacDonalds, doesn’t do expensive gourmet burgers.”

            mmmnn, this ISN’T a tasty burger… (Jules Winnfield voice)

          • xlayn says:

            “Truth is Honda is a company that is in business to make money selling the most product to the most people, and they do that very well. They are not in business to make expensive bikes that only sell to a limited few in a small niche market. ”

            maybe, they still do expensive bikes… hello rune (beautiful bike BTW)

            “They want a motorcycle that looks good, is reliable and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to buy or maintain”

            hello everyone, Mickey answered all questions in this forum for the next 10 years.

            “Honda, like MacDonalds, doesn’t do expensive gourmet burgers.”

            there is a guy here called IWantToEat I guess…

          • xlayn says:

            MGN: “Cuz we’re brand snobs who can’t see past the label”

            it’s called Euristics… basically one of the things on the brain that allows you think faster (note faster not better) and one of the many “cognitive bias” (check wikipedia entry) my favorite one, make shipping price a percentage of total price

  33. Jeremy in TX says:

    “…a new Africa Twin featuring a 1000 cc parallel twin engine designed to be both compact and light.”

    Honda hasn’t designed anything to be particularly light in quite a while. Perhaps they mean it is going to be a relatively light engine in a very heavy bike. I am interested to see how seriously they took this project. In any case, I won’t hold my breath to see it introduced in the US.

    • Blackcayman says:

      right…but they alreay have a couple of psuedo-ADV bikes in the NC700X and VFR800X

      If they are going to use the “Arica Twin” name – they had better bring it!

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        “they had better bring it!”

        Exactly! If they are going to use that name, they had better take this seriously. I’d hate to see the name misused in a marketing-department-gone-wild exercise.

        “but they alreay have a couple of psuedo-ADV bikes”

        I think “pseudo” is the key there. The those two bikes (as well as their little 500) are street bikes dressed up like adventure bikes – new-age sport-tourers if you will. A new Africa Twin would almost have to aim past BMW and right at KTM to honor the namesake.

    • xlayn says:

      “…a new Africa Twin featuring a 1000 cc parallel twin engine designed to be both compact and light.”

      1000cc; compact; light

      oxymoron

  34. Gham says:

    1000CC parallel Africa Twin? Wasn’t ready for that one,sounds interesting.

  35. mickey says:

    Two more bikes not coming to the U.S. no doubt